BLK JKS: The Avant Garde In Africa

Listen Now

20 min 40 sec

Set List

  • "Cursor"
  • "Molalatladi"
  • "Lakeside"
  • "Skeleton"

Web Extra


7 min 8 sec
BLK JKS; credit: Mikhael Subotzky i i

BLK JKS. Mikhael Subotzky hide caption

itoggle caption Mikhael Subotzky
BLK JKS; credit: Mikhael Subotzky


Mikhael Subotzky

One of the biggest bands in Johannesburg, South Africa, BLK JKS (pronounced "black jacks") has spent the last two years breaking into the international music scene. The buzz around BLK JKS began in 2007, when the band released an eponymous EP; many called it avant-garde, in part because there's no other name for what it does. Chaotic and sincere in sound, the group is impossible to pin to one genre: Psychedelic rock, jazz, Afrobeat, blues, metal and reggae all cohere into an undeniably African rock sound.

After the release of the EP, the quartet began touring South Africa and took off on an international tour. It followed the disc with another EP (Mystery) in March and released its first full-length album, After Robots, in September.

Related NPR Stories

Purchase Featured Music

After Robots

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

After Robots

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.